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Meet the farmer: Royd Mukonda

5 April 2021, at 8:00am

The Fish Site has been in touch with aquaculture operators from around the world, hoping to gain insights into their jobs, farms and the fish they produce for our new Meet the farmer series. Our first interview is with Royd Mukonda, the managing director of Musaka Fish Farm.

What is your name, age, role and country of operation?

Man wearing a blue live vest, sitting in a boat
Royd has been working for Mukasa Agrosolutions for the last four years

My name is Royd Mukonda, aged 32 years and the managing Director of Mukasa Agrosolutions and Fish Farm Ltd in Zambia.

How long have you been farming for?

I have been farming fish for the past 11 years. I am with Mukasa for four years now and before that I managed several commercial cage farms.

What size is your farm and what species do you produce?

My farm is a on a 4-hectare plot where we culture tilapia (Oreochromis andersonii) and catfish (Clarius gariepinus).

Series of earthen catfish breeding ponds, next to a river
Royd grows tilapia and catfish on a 4-hectare plot

What sort of production system do you operate?

We use earthen lined breeding ponds, concrete pre-nursery, nursery tanks and hatching tanks, and for catfish use a raceway system.

Why did you decide to embark on a career in aquaculture?

In 2009, I was working on a farm that was producing crops and livestock. The farm had a dam for irrigation, which was being terrorised by illegal fishermen.

Being the farm manager, I was faced with the challenge of monitoring the illegal fishing activities. While doing this, I realised the need for acquiring more sustainable means to manage aquatic resources.

Man standing at the edge of two above-ground concrete ponds
Royd hopes to play a role in the sustainable expansion of Zambia's aquaculture sector

What’s your ultimate ambition in the sector?

Looking at the current status of Zambian aquaculture and at a more global perspective, I look forward to contributing effectively to the development of a sustainable aquaculture industry. I wish Zambian aquaculture to have a larger contribution to the GDP and create jobs.

What’s your biggest worry at work?

The most worrying issues in my line of duty are the need to have all my team members at the farm gain a clear understanding of water quality management and the lack of access to easy to use and cost efficient water quality tests. In addition, currently the price of feed is skyrocketing, making it a challenge to run systems well.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement has been to develop a business idea that has resulted in the Mukasa Agrosolutions and Fish Farm Limited.

The farm has been instrumental in executing sustainable technologies in fish farming and is a great partner in developing a sustainable aquaculture industry in Zambia.

Person standing at the edge of concrete raceways, half filled with water
In the future, Royd would like to use solar power on his farm

What piece of equipment would you most like to have on your farm?

To make the farm more sustainable, we would like to install a solar energy plant to power our operations.

What’s your favourite seafood dish?

My favourite seafood dish is barbecue-roasted salmon.

If you would like to be considered for taking part in this new Fish Site series, please contact megan@hatch.blue with the details of your farm.